Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: December 15, 1868

run75441: Catching up something we missed. NDD pointed out AB had missed a post on the 15th Amendment which happened two days before the last posted (17th) “Live Blogging  the 15th. “ Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: December 15, 1868 Sen Orrin S. Ferry (R-Conn), in the course of offering a joint resolution to lift the […]

The consumer vs. producer divergence widens at year end

The consumer vs. producer divergence widens at year end My economic theme for about the past half year has been the contrast between the floundering producer sector vs. the decent consumer sector. With two of the last important reports of the year out this morning, that divergence has been highlighted. First, the good news: real […]

Political leanings through time for birth cohorts

Political leanings through time for birth cohorts A chart on “political preferences by generation” from Pew Research has been making the rounds in the past few days. Here it is: Figure 1 This chart tells the simplistic story that older generations are more conservative than young ones. It’s considerably misleading. After all, how did the […]

Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: December 17, 1868

Live-blogging the Fifteenth Amendment: December 17, 1868 In the Senate, Senators Dixon and Ferry, both Republicans from Connecticut, continued the debate from several days prior concerning a federal imposition of African-American voting rights on the States: Dixon: [M]y colleague … proposes to amend the Constitution of the United States in a manner which to me […]

Initial claims turn neutral on seasonality, but no red flag

Initial claims turn neutral on seasonality, but no red flag As you know, I’ve been monitoring initial jobless claims closely for the past several months, to see if there are any signs of a slowdown turning into something worse. Simply put, if businesses aren’t laying employees off, those same people are consumers who are going […]

November real retail sales show consumption still weakly positive

November real retail sales show consumption still weakly positive Retail sales are one of my favorite indicators, because in real terms they can tell us so much about the present, near term forecast, and longer term forecast for the economy. This morning retail sales for November were reported up +0.2%, while October was also revised […]

Off topic: two solutions to home delivery theft

Off topic: two solutions to home delivery theft By now we all know that theft of packages delivered to people’s home doorstep is a big problem. Here are pictures of two solutions:1. Massive 1984-style and easily hackable home monitoring. Or even worse, the ability of the delivery person to open the homeonwer’s garage to leave […]

November average real wage growth stable, but aggregate growth now puts expansion in second place behind 1990s

November average real wage growth stable, but aggregate growth now puts expansion in second place behind 1990s November consumer inflation came in at +0.3%. Since in last Friday’s jobs report average hourly earnings also increased +0.3%, real average hourly earnings were unchanged: In a longer term perspective, this means that real wages remain at 97.9% […]

Scenes from the November jobs report

Scenes from the November jobs report Let’s take a more detailed look at last Friday’s November jobs report, in particular a discussion of the more leading sectors. First, let’s update the three leading sectors of employment that I have been tracking: temporary help (blue in the graph below), manufacturing (gold), and residential construction (red). Here’s […]